The Air Force is on target to generate 1 gigawatt of renewable energy at its installations by 2016, the service said Thursday, confirming a goal first revealed by the White House.
Last week, the White House said that the Air Force, Army and Navy each would strive to produce 1 gigawatt of renewable energy to power their installations, with the Navy and Army attempting to reach the goal by 2020.
Officials also reiterated the Air Force’s intention to generate sufficient renewable energy to supply 25 percent of all installation electricity use by 2025, the department-wide goal.
“To successfully achieve the Air Force mission to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace, the Air Force must have assured access to reliable supplies of energy, such as renewable energy, when and where we need it in support of the mission,” said Kevin Geiss, deputy assistant secretary for energy.
The service plans to leverage partnerships with private sector and government entities to develop and test alternative and renewable energy sources with limited or no upfront costs to the government.
One example of the Air Force’s approach to public-private partnership is the solar project at Nellis AFB, Nev., Geiss said. The Nellis solar array, which spans over 140 acres and is the largest solar photovoltaic system in North America, generates 14 megawatts and saves the base about $1 million a year.
In fiscal 2011, 6 percent of the Air Force’s total facility energy came from renewables. The 131 wind, solar, ground source thermal and landfill gas projects under way at 56 installations are expected to generate 37 megawatts of renewable energy. An additional 50 projects, either under construction or soon to be awarded, are expected to generate 19 megawatts of energy.